House passes bill awarding Congressional Gold Medal to Americans who died in Benghazi attack

The House passed a bill on Tuesday to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to the four Americans who died in the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The chamber approved by voice vote the measure to award the Congressional Gold Medal to J. Christopher Stevens, the then-U.S. ambassador to Libya; Sean Smith, who served as a State Department information management officer in Benghazi; and Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who were Navy SEALS and CIA security contractors.

The four men were killed on Sept. 11, 2012, when a coalition of extremists attacked U.S. facilities in Benghazi. In January 2020, Libyan national Mustafa al-Imam was sentenced to more than 19 years in prison for crimes connected to the terrorist attack.

September will mark 10 years since the death of the four Americans.

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), the sponsor of the bill, said “it’s more than fitting” that the four Americans receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

“In view of the approaching 10th anniversary of those terrorist attacks against the U.S. consulate, the nearby classified annex, and personnel in Benghazi, Libya, it is more than fitting we bestow the gold medal on these four fallen American heroes who bravely defended our compound and dedicated their lives to patriotic service on behalf of the United States of America,” he said during debate on the House floor Tuesday.

The resolution passed on Tuesday would award the Congressional Gold Medal, which is the highest expression of national appreciation, to the four Americans who died in the attack “in recognition of their contributions to the Nation.”

After the accolade is awarded, it would be given to the Central Intelligence Agency Museum for display.

Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) during debate on the House floor said the four late Americans “served honorably and died in service to our country,” adding that the measure “will honor these men with the recognition that they deserve.”

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called the four men killed in the attack “shining examples of our shared American values.”

“As we come upon the 10-year anniversary of their tragic deaths, we as a nation mourn the loss of these shining examples of our shared American values,” Waters said during debate on the House floor.

“And to their loved ones who carry their memories with them today and always, we offer our sincerest condolences and profound gratitude for their tireless efforts to preserve their legacy,” she added.

The California Democrat said “I cannot think of any who are more deserving of this great honor.”